Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How Do You Be A Neighbor?

Again, the Wall Street Journal comes through with a fascinating article. On today's (10/31/06) front page, the Halloween-themed feature is about Rev. Phil Wyman, a minister in Salem, Mass -- yes, of witch fame. Salem, of course is a large wiccan-New Age hotspot, and Wyman set out to engage in "friendship evangelism" with this community, who seemed to respect and appreciate his approach, which included a confession of the church's past sins and a tongue-in-cheek "Psalm Reading" booth at a local Halloween gathering.

The response from the community was positive, including on e wiccan who is quoted as saying, "Sure, he wants to convert you. But he does it in a way that respects you." That seems a powerful testimony to me.

Unfortunately, his denomination did not see things that way. One is quoted as saying that Wyman was "too familiar, too cozy, too amicable with that community." He was brought up on charges on being "abberant," and was removed from his pastorate.

We need to engage culture, and not in a "we versus them" mentality. There are probably details I don't know, but the handling of this case disappoints me.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Giving Wisely

To those who are not readers of the Wall Street Journal, it may be surprising to learn that they are a great source for feature articles on things of faith. Today (10/30/06) they had an article on Wall Watchers, a small organization that investigates how ministries and churches handle their money. The guts of the article addressed Wall Watcher's concerns with a specific national ministry, which changed their structure a little bit after being made aware of Wall Watcher's concerns about the handling of a property-tax issue. Anyway, I have a financial background, so issues of handling money rightly speak to me, and this organization seemed very sound.

Friday, October 13, 2006

What The Church Does

I found this in the notes for a theology class a friend of mine is taking. It is a memory device for recalling the historical ministries of the church. I thought it was pretty clever, as well as interesting.

"The SS Witness and the 4 Ships:"


Tuesday, October 10, 2006


The Call
My personal top 10 album list would have 2 by The Call. Both "Reconciled" and "Let The Day Begin" are classic albums that combine an astute and intelligent spirituality with driving, straight-ahead rock and roll. Michael Been, the frontman for the band, is a Christian and has always written his songs from the perspective of a believer dealing with the realities of living in the modern world. They never appeared on "Christian radio" because they were actually on real labels, Elektra and MCA, and never positioned themselves as a "Christian band." But I encourage you to check them out if you never have.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Our Messy Lord

We can not expect God to fit into our boxes, or to meet our standards. God is the great paradigm-breaker, but we can only experience that characteristic of Him if we are open to changing our own paradigm. This is a definite situation where we can only recieve from God when we are ready to recieve from God. The encouragement is to let Him out of whatever box you have Him in, whatever pretty decorative frame you are holding Him in, whatever human standard you are Holding him to. Set Him free, let Him out, release Him. Let Him be God.